IOC’s Bach: Refugees will be honoured at Rio

first_imgATHENS, Greece (AP): A group of refugee athletes will march together in the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in a symbol of hope for the world’s migrants, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said yesterday. On a three-day visit to Greece, Bach also said a refugee would carry the torch during the Greek leg of the flame relay and that the route would include a stop at an Athens refugee camp. The flame-lighting ceremony at Ancient Olympia will take place on April 21. “We want to turn the attention of the world to the fate and the problems of the 60 million refugees in our world and their suffering,” Bach said. He visited the refugee camp in Athens, played football with a group of young men, and met potential candidates who could compete for the first time as refugee athletes at the Rio Games. “They have no hope, no flag to march behind, and no anthem,” Bach said. “We have invited them to participate, and these athletes will march behind the Olympic flag” at the August 5 opening ceremony. Bach said he expected between five and 10 refugee athletes to qualify for the Olympics. He said he spoke to two potential Olympic competitors in Athens, who could compete in shooting events and karate. The IOC has already pledged US$2 million to help refugees, and is asking authorities in refugee camps to identify any top-level international athletes. Three athletes found The IOC said in December that three potential Olympic athletes had been identified so far from among the wave of refugees and migrants. Greece has been hard hit by the migration crisis that escalated dramatically in 2015 when more than 850,000 travelled in dinghies and mostly unsafe boats from Turkey to the Greek islands. Despite growing European pressure on Athens to toughen border controls, Bach described Greece’s assistance to refugees as “really extraordinary” and promised funds for planned sports facilities on the Greek island of Lesbos. Bach praised progress in Brazil’s Olympic preparations despite the country’s serious financial downturn and outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. “Brazil is in financial and political crisis, and is facing a great corruption scandal,” he said. “And under these circumstances, it is even more remarkable what the Brazilians have done.” Bach said the timing of the games, during Brazil’s winter, could limit difficulties caused by the virus outbreak, and he promised to have consultations with national Olympic Committees on safety guidelines by late today. Before leaving Athens yesterday, Bach said he would visit the marble Panathinian Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896.last_img read more

DONEGAL WOMAN HONOURED FOR HER LIFETIME SERVICE TO AN TAISCE

first_imgOne of Donegal and Ireland’s best-known environmentalists has been awarded for her years of service.May McClintock, from Letterkenny, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by An Taisce.Ms McClintock, who lives in Glenswilly, has written books and is also a noted historian and active members of the IFA. She was presented with her award by Ian Lumley, National Heritage and Planning Officer of An Taisce in recognition of her 42 years service with the organisation. DONEGAL WOMAN HONOURED FOR HER LIFETIME SERVICE TO AN TAISCE was last modified: July 1st, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:An TaisceMay McClintocklast_img read more

Crystal Palace playing hardball with Marseille over goalkeeper Steve Mandanda

first_img Steve Mandanda 1 Crystal Palace have turned down Marseille’s opening bid for goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, according to reports in France.The 32-year-old only arrived at Selhurst Park in July but is expected to leave having made just nine Premier League appearances during his first season at the club.His old club Marseille are interested in resigning their former favourite and have held talks with Palace.However, according to RMC, the London club have rejected an initial £1m offer, although discussions are expected to continue.last_img